Last night I had a major meltdown, my trusty old Toshiba that was given to me by my brother Brandon (star exec chef at Stueben’s in Denver CO) totally died. The hard drive started making some really funny noises, then vibrations, and then poof. Blue screen. The sad part is that I lost a bunch of audio recordings, I did save the day 5 recordings but the rest are gone, magnetized still on a platter, but I’m unable to reach them. So close and yet so far.
After that realization, I called it quits and didn’t setup at all, considering we still had the same poor conditions as the night before, and instead went home to get something together for digital action. I decided against bringing my dedicated work laptop, as it is really dusty at Cabot Square, and went out and bought a small MSI Wind notebook to dedicate for use with the radio rig. Its small, super small, and here’s to hoping that it lasts for a long time. In fact, I’m posting from it now - seems to be a nice little laptop. I do regret not just getting it together and replacing the drive in the Toshiba, but I will, and to get things moving and running as far as the project goes, I needed to deal with things fast. The Toshiba is resting now, but it’ll get back to life and Ill donate it somewhere - i hate to add to the electronics junk pile somewhere.
Its interesting to think about the newer technology, ie computers and their fragility, when considering radio and it’s necessity for reliability as it is at times the only communication available. I was talking with a local ham that came by the site the other day, and he was telling me that after hurricane Katrina, the ARRL noticed quite a spike in amateur licenses. I guess it became clear that in emergency situations, radio still remains the communications system that doesn’t need any infrastructure to operate. If you are prepared, with a battery, or solar cells, all you need is the radio and a piece of wire as an antenna, and you’re off. However any of the newer technologies that we rely on daily, are reliant on a fragile infrastructure. Once things go down, cell phones stop, internet stops, and land lines don’t work.
I’m not suggesting we live in alarmist mode as the earth cracks apart, but I often get asked why bother learning all this and using it when you can just call someone on the phone? or send an email? There’s many answers to this question, from the scenario above, to state surviellence, both of which equal real freedom.